National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program:
African American History Month 2014

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

The National Register of Historic Places lists many properties significant for African American History. We take the opportunity of African American History Month to highlight just some of the properties that exemplify the contributions of African American culture and achievement.

New African American History properties featured
Past Highlights
African American History properties in Travel Itineraries
African American History properties featured in Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans
African American History in the National Parks
Learn More
You can find more properties in the National Register of Historic Places listed for African American History by doing an advanced search for Black in the Area of Significance field in our database.


Featured Historic Properties for African American History Month:

[photo] National Register Brochure
Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University Building
Photograph courtesy of the Illinois State Historic Preservation Office

Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University Building, Chicago, Illinois
During the early 1900s, Chicago emerged as a center for black aviation rivaled only by Los Angeles. The Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University served as an important entry point for many of the country's pioneering black pilots, who went on to play important roles in the promotion and expansion of black aviation in the United States and abroad. Read more . . .

American Baptist Theological Seminary Historic District, Nashville, Tennessee
American Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) committed itself to Christian education and racial equality and fostered leadership among its students who went on to become prominent individuals in local and national civil rights efforts.The success of the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville hinged on student involvement, and indeed, students would become the driving force in the movement as it pushed into the Deep South. John Lewis, Bernard Lafayette, C.T. Vivian and James Bevel were all students at ABTS who came to the movement under the guidance of Reverend Kelly Miller Smith. Read more . . .

Durkee, Joseph H., Athletic Field, Jacksonville, Florida
The present brick stadium, which was renamed Durkee Field shortly after its construction in 1935, is significant for its connections to the African American community, serving as the home of the American Negro League Jacksonville Red Caps and the historically black Edward Waters College football team. Read more . . .

 

Mound Bayou Historic District, City of Mound Bayou, Mississippi
was founded by freed slaves after the Civil War with no assistance from other communities, what was accomplished is very significant and was accomplished under extremely difficult conditions. The founders and those that carne after them started with a wilderness and created over many years, a thriving self-sufficient community. Read more . . .

 

Past highlights:

 

[photo] National Register Brochure
Paine College Historic District
Photograph courtesy of the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office

Paine College Historic District, Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia
“This is a major milestone in the college’s 131 years of existence, and we look forward to making additional milestones and accomplishments in the legacy of Paine College.”

Paine College Historic District, in Augusta, Georgia, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 26, 2012. Representing one of the few institutions of higher education created by a biracial board of trustees in Georgia for African-American students, Paine College Historic District was found historically important on the state level. Important for its role in education and African American heritage. Read More . . .

Vienna High and Industrial School, Dooly County, Georgia

The Vienna High and Industrial School in Vienna, Georgia, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 19, 2012, as an excellent example of an equalization ( an educational facility created to be equal among African-American and white students) school in Georgia and is significant in the areas of architecture, education, ethnic heritage and social history. The International Style school was built in 1959 to accommodate the increasingly overcrowded Vienna County Training School, which was adjacent to the high school.  Read more . . .

 

[photo] National Register Brochure
John Lewis poses for pictures in front of new artwork depicting Freedom Rides.
Photograph courtesy of the Alabama State Historic Preservation Office via GSA: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/284809#284873
Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station, Alabama

On May 20, 1961, the Freedom Riders were attacked by a local mob at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery, Alabama.  The historic importance of the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station is limited to this one day, but the repercussions from the events brought the Civil Rights struggle into sharp relief and caught national and international attention. Arriving early in Montgomery with only a lone motorcycle patrolman escort, the Freedom Riders soon discovered that a crowd of approximately 200 angry protestors crowded the streets and the arrival bay area at the bus station. Among the crowd were several notorious Klansmen. 20 people were seriously injured, including John Seigenthaler, who was a personal representative of President Kennedy. John Lewis, a student activist who later would become a key figure in the civil rights movement and a U.S. Congressman, was one of the Freedom Riders on this portion of the journey.

 
Attucks School, Vinita, Craig County, Oklahoma

Constructed in 1916-17, the Attucks School served the black community of Vinita, Oklahoma as a combined elementary, junior, and high school. Stylistically, the school is a combination of a simplified Art Deco and WPA construction. It was not the only black school in Craig County, as there were seven, but it was the only secondary school that was available to blacks until after desegregation in the mid-1950s. While the Vinita public school system readily desegregated as required by law following the landmark decision of Brown vs. Board of Education, it took upwards of three years for desegregation to occur in Vinita.

Mount Zion Baptist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Rebuilding a church and a spirit! Rebuilt after the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, perhaps the most significant race riot in the history of the United States, the Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stands as a historic symbol of the local African American community. The commitment of the Mount Zion Baptist Church parishioners in Greenwood to rebuild their church displayed both their tenacity in the face of adversity and their hopes for the future. The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 resulted in the near complete destruction of the Greenwood African American neighborhood and business district. With no police or fire department protection, whites had burned nearly 30-40 blocks of homes and businesses, and nearly 9000 individuals were left homeless. The Mount Zion Baptist Church remained a landmark and rallying point of the Greenwood neighborhood’s and church’s persistence to survive after the riot.

Berkley Square, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Berkley Square subdivision, which is located in the area historically known as Las Vegas’ Westside, consists of 148 Contemporary Ranch-style homes designed by internationally-known African American architect Paul R. Williams. It was built between 1954 and 1955 and was the first minority (African American) built subdivision in Nevada. Prior to the 1930s, racism was not a problem in Las Vegas simply because there were so few African American residents, but as the African American presence grew, segregation set in.  Housing conditions on the Westside, where the African American population was located, were horrible, but planning between the City of Las Vegas and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) began in 1947 to build a community of affordable modern housing, which resulted in the creation of Berkley Square.

Newburgh Colored Burial Ground, Orange County, New York
It is known that village of Newburgh sustained a modest free black community in the mid-19th century and that the cemetery was actively used c. 1832 to c. 1867, a time when this area remained somewhat isolated from development. Further archeological study of the cemetery will help reveal more of the history of the free black community in that area. A weekly highlight. . .

Historic Resources Associated with African Americans in Los Angeles Multiple Property Submission (pdf 9mb)

Since the earliest days of the Los Angeles pueblo, African Americans have been a vital presence in the city. Over this period, the African American community in Los Angeles was shaped and reshaped by successive streams of migration. ...

[photo]
Delmo Community Center
Photograph courtesy of Missouri State Historic Preservation Office

Delmo Community Center: Pemiscot County, Missouri (pdf 4mb)
The community center was the historic social and political center of
Homestown, originally known as South Wardell, one of ten communities constructed by the Farm Security Administration for displaced sharecroppers and tenant farmers following the
January 1939 roadside sharecropper demonstration in Southeast Missouri. Though deteriorated, Homestown's Delmo Community Center continues to be an important feature of Southeast Missouri's Delmo communities, and represents an era of community building and social experimentation sponsored by the Federal government.

 

Birthright, Charles and Bettie, House: Dunklin County, Missouri (pdf 14 mb)

Dunklin County's greatness! For more than 40 years this house was home to the Birthrights, former slaves who achieved economic independence and prosperity while building close ties with the families that had held them in slavery and the predominantly white citizenry of Clarkerton and Dunklin Counties. This barber and seamstress amassed substantial wealth from highly successful commercial and farming operations.

John Coltrane House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
Tenor saxophonist and American jazz pioneer John Coltrane lived here from 1952 until two years before his death in 1967. A musician and composer, Coltrane played a central role in the development of jazz during the 1950s and 1960s.

George Black House and Brickyard: Forsyth County, North Carolina
was the house of well-known African American brickmaker George H. Black. Black, sometimes referred to as "The Last Brickmaker in America," lived and worked on this property from 1934 until his death in 1980 at age 101.

USS Alligator: Monroe County, Florida:
The remains of a schooner that once patrolled the west coast of Africa on anti-slavery trade duty

[photo]
One of the barns used as a hiding place for fugitive slaves
National Historic Landmark photograph

Behavior Cemetery, McIntosh County, Georgia:
A post-Civil War African American burial ground

Sweet Home Vocational and Agricultural High School: Guadalupe County, Texas:
A Rosenwald school built specifically for the education of African Americans

Gerrit Smith Estate, Madison County, New York:
Underground Railroad Site.

Properties associated with Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Site.

Daisy Bates House, Pulaski County, Arkansas:
Desegregation in Public Education Sites

Bizzell Library at the University of Oklahoma, Cleveland County, Oklahoma:
Desegregation in Public Education Sites

Howard University properties, Washington, DC: Desegregation in Public Education Sites

Camp Nelson, Jessamine County, Kentucky:
Kentucky's largest recruitment and training center for black troops during the Civil War was also a refugee camp for their wives and children.

Fox Lake, Steuben County, Indiana:
A resort community for African Americans developed during the 1930s in Indiana.

[photos]
Different views of Sugar Hill Historic District
Photograph by Kathy Howe, courtesy of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

American Beach Historic District, Nassau County, Florida:
American Beach was developed as an ocean front resort for African Americans on the south end of Amelia Island, Florida, in 1935.

Hurricane of 1928 African American Mass Grave, Palm Beach County, Florida:
The Hurricane of 1928 African American Mass Burial site is important as the burial site of approximately 674 victims, primarily African American agricultural workers, who were killed in the hurricane of 1928 that devastated South Florida.

Eagle Saloon, Karnofsky Tailor Shop and House, and Iroquois Theater, New Orleans, Louisiana:
one of New Orleans' most important neighborhoods in the early development of Jazz.

WROX Building, Coahoma County, Mississippi:
For 52 years Wright hosted a weekly R&B show from the WROX building, interviewing musical personalities such as B. B. King, Charlie Pride, Muddy Waters, Tina Turner, Bobby Rush, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Rufus Thomas, Elvis Presley, Little Milton and Pinetop Perkins.

Barton Heights Cemeteries, Richmond, Virginia:
These cemeteries were established between c.1815 and c.1865 by black churches, fraternal orders and benevolent organizations and represent early efforts by African Americans to establish their own cemeteries through burial societies that offered death benefits.

Lorraine Apartments, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
As the largest property owner among African Americans in Philadelphia, the Peace Mission employed many black Philadelphians in restaurants, hotels and small business, while also providing meals, clothing, barbers' services, transportation and lodging at reduced prices.

Pearl High School, Davidson County, Tennessee:
The new school was designed by McKissack and McKissack, the nation's first architecture firm owned by an African American.

Lincoln Theater: (pdf 2 mb) in the Historic Resources Associated with African Americans in Los Angeles MPS.
Constructed in 1926 the Lincoln Theater is significant as the last remaining theater in Los Angeles that catered to the African American community. The Lincoln Theater opened in 1927 and immediately became a major gathering spot for the large and growing African American population along the Central Avenue Corridor.

Carver Theatre, Carver County, South Carolina:
The Carver Theatre, at 1519 Harden Street in Columbia, South Carolina, is important in the the early-to-mid twentieth century history of Columbia's black community during the later period of racial segregation in the South.

Union Bethel AME Church, Cascade County, Montana:
The Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Great Falls, Montana, is one of the first-built and longest-used churches for African Americans in Montana and is important because it represents trends in black community growth in the western United States.

Public Schools of Washington, D.C. Multiple Property Submission: Former African American schools are regarded today both as a source of pride and as a reminder of past injustices.

Hinchliffe Stadium, Passaic County, New Jersey:
Hinchliffe is possibly the sole surviving regular home field for a Negro League baseball team in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Xavier University Main Building, Convent and Library, New Orleans, Louisiana:
Xavier University provided a quality education to thousands of African Americans, principally from New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana, who upon graduation entered the New Orleans professional community.

Ivey Delph Apartments, New York, New York:
was the first large-scale project by and for African Americans in New York backed by a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage commitment.

African American Historic Resources of Alexandria, Virginia, Multiple Property Submission: The historic places associated with Alexandria's community of African Americans nominated as components of this multiple property submission (MPS) reflect educational, residential and communal historical development in the city from pre-Civil War antebellum days to post-Civil War freedom.

Bethel Baptist Church, Parsonage, and Guard House, Jefferson County, Alabama:
On Christmas Day, 1956, a large bundle of dynamite exploded next to Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, destroying the parsonage in which Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and his family lived.

Foster Auditorium, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama:
The University of Alabama's Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa was the site of Governor George Wallace's infamous “stand in the schoolhouse door” in 1963.

Howard High School, New Castle County, Delaware:
Howard High School, in Wilmington, Delaware, is one of the schools directly associated with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that found racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.

African American Historic Resources of Prince George's County, Maryland MPS: A wealth of historic places in Prince George's County, Maryland, convey how integral African Americas are to the history of this area.

Dorsey--Jones House, Hampshire County, Massachusetts:
Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, the Dorsey--Jones House was the home of two escaped slaves, Basil Dorsey (1810-1872) and Thomas H. Jones (1806-1890).

Hotel Theresa, New York, New York: The Hotel Theresa, built from 1912 to 1913, has been one of the major social centers of Harlem.

The Campground, Mobile County, Alabama:
The Campground historic district has played an important role in the historical development of the predominately black community of Mobile, Alabama, since the third quarter of the 19th century.

Dorchester Academy Boys' Dormitory, Liberty County, Georgia:
Dorchester Academy was founded by the American Missionary Association (AMA) following the Civil War as a primary school for black children.

Abyssinian Meeting House, Cumberland County, Maine:
The Abyssinian Meeting House is a vernacular wood-frame building constructed between 1828 and 1831 to serve Portland, Maine’s African American community.

Fort Lyon, Bent County, Colorado:
Several companies of African American soldiers were quartered here in anticipation of General Philip Sheridan’s winter campaign against the southern Cheyenne in 1868.

Nash, Rev. J. Edward, Sr., House, Erie County, New York:
The Reverend J. Edward Nash, Sr. House is historically significant for its association with the life and career of Buffalo’s most prominent African American leader during the first half of the 20th century.

Paul Laurence Dunbar House, Montgomery County, Ohio:
Paul Laurence Dunbar (July 27, 1872-Feburary 9, 1906) holds the distinction of being the first African American poet to receive national acclaim since Phyllis Wheatly.

Langston Hughes House, New York, New York:
The Langston Hughes House is historically significant as the home of James Langston Hughes (1902-1967), author and poet and one of the foremost figures in the Harlem Renaissance.

Arna Wendell Bontemps House, Rapides County, Louisiana:
the birthplace of writer Arna Bontemps, a major figure in the African American literary movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District, Cayuga County, New York: Several of the properties within the district were owned by freed slaves; others by prominent abolitionists and women's rights advocates who sprang from the Quaker faith.

Liberty Hill School, Richmond County, North Carolina: this former one-story school, built in 1930, stands at a lonely hilltop location established as a school site in the 19th century for local African American children.

African American History properties in Travel Itineraries

[photo]
The Atlanta Travel Itinerary includes the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site,which includes MLK's birth home, gravesite, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter sing with Martin Luther King, Sr., Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young and other civil rights leaders during a visit to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library (NLJC)

We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement
Aboard the Underground Railroad
Amistad: Seeking Freedom in Connecticut
Asheville, North Carolina
Atlanta, Georgia
Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms
Baltimore, MD
Cane River National Heritage Area
Historic Charleston's Religious and Community Buildings
Chicago, Illinois
Detroit, Michigan
Along the Georgia Florida Coast
James River Plantations
Lexington, Kentucky
Southeastern Louisiana
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Raleigh, North Carolina
Virginia Main Street Communities
World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area
Washington, DC


African American History properties featured in Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans

[Photo] Mrs. Nettie Hunt and daughter on the steps of the Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., Nov., 1954.
Chicago's Black Metropolis: Understanding History Through a Historic Place (Overton Hygenic Building - Photo courtesy Washington Intercollegiate Club of Chicago, Inc., 1929.)

Teaching with Historic Places
This program offers a series of award-winning lesson plans that use places listed in the National Register to enliven the study of history, social studies, and geography. The many ready-to-use lesson plans, available for free downloading, that examine different aspects of African American history include:

An American Success Story: The Pope House of Raleigh
Brown v. Board: Five Communities that Changed America
Chicago's Black Metropolis: Understanding History Through a Historic Place
From Canterbury to Little Rock:
The Struggle for Educational Equality for African Americans

Glen Echo Park: Center for Education and Recreation
Iron Hill School: An African-American One-Room School
The Liberty Bell: From Obscurity to Icon
Memories of Montpelier: Home of James and Dolley Madison
New Kent School and the George W. Watkins School: From Freedom of Choice to Integration
The Old Courthouse in St. Louis: Yesterday and Today
The Siege of Port Hudson: "Forty Days and Nights in the Wilderness of Death"
Two American Entrepreneurs: Madam C.J. Walker and J.C. Penney
The Vieux Carré: A Creole Neighborhood in New Orleans
When Rice Was King

African American History in the National Parks

[photo] Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial.
National Park Service photograph, courtesy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

African Burial Ground National Monument
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Boston African American National Historic Site
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site
Colonial National Historical Park: Jamestown
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park: Paul Laurence Dunbar House
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Fort Scott National Historic Site
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
George Washington Carver National Monument
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve: Chalmette
Lincoln Memorial
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Nicodemus National Historic Site
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
Petersburg National Battlefield
Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve: Kingsley Plantation
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
Virgin Islands National Park


Presidential Proclamation: National African American Heritage Month 2012

National Park Service: African American History Month
An ongoing effort to provide a comprehensive list of African American related resources located within the National Park Service web pages.

Department of Interior Diversity Website

africanamericanhistorymonth.gov
A federal government wide portal site for African American Heritage

National Historic Landmark Program's African American History Month
National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Their African American History Month feature highlights the Carter G. Woodson House.

HABS/HAER/HALS/CRGIS African American History Month
Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, Historic American Landscapes Survey, Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems, Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems African American History feature highlights various African American properties documented in their programs.

Cultural Resources Diversity Program
A highlight of the National Park Service's on-going efforts to reflect the diversity of American culture.

African Reflections on the American Landscape: Identifying and Interpreting Africanisms
Examines African cultural heritage found in the built environment and its interpretation within the NPS cultural resources programs.

National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program
The National Park Service is implementing a national Underground Railroad initiative to coordinate preservation and education efforts nationwide and integrate local historical places, museums, and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional, and national stories.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey (HABS/HAER/HALS)
This program documents important architectural, engineering and industrial sites, and landscapes throughout the United States and its territories. Their collections, including numerous African American sites, are archived at the Library of Congress and available online. You can view these by clicking on the link above and entering the search term "African American."

African American History and Culture: A Remembering
A CRM issue that explores aspects of African American heritage. (PDF format)
Search the Issue Archives then, search Issue Title for "African American History and Culture".

Africans and African Americans on Jamestown Island 1619-1803
This on-line book (available as a large pdf) tells the story of Africans of the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, from their point of arrival in the colony and ends with the establishment of a free black community.

American Visionaries: Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass has been called the father of the civil rights movement. He rose through determination, brilliance, and eloquence to shape the American nation. He was an abolitionist, human rights and women's rights activist, orator, author, journalist, publisher, and social reformer. This exhibit features items owned by Frederick Douglass and highlights his achievements. The items are in the museum and archival collections at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site at Cedar Hill, Southeast Washington, DC.

American Visionaries: Legends of Tuskegee
Who are the Legends of Tuskegee and what do they have in common? Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver and the Tuskegee Airmen all came to Tuskegee and created their own legends. Tuskegee is more than a town located in Macon County, Alabama. It was a bold experiment and a site of major African American achievements for over 100 years. This three-part web exhibit highlights the achievements of Washington, Carver and the Tuskegee Airmen.

Martin Luther King Jr., National Historic Site Historic Resource Study
Provides an historical overview of the historic park and identifies the park's cultural resources within its historic context.

A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and the historic places associated with the struggle for civil rights that captured the attention of the United States and the world.

National Museum of African American History and Culture
This planned museum will give voice to the centrality of the African American experience, and will make it possible for all people to understand the depth, complexity, and promise of the American experience.